A life full of stories and mysteries, there aren't enough words to tell the full story of Ara Güler. He took photographs of famous people from Salvador Dali to Indira Gandhi. Photography isn't necessarily art. A photo is a history. You are capturing history. You are stopping history with a machine, said Ara Güler about photography.
He was born on 16th August 1928, and he is also known as Istanbul's Eye. He studied at Getronagan Armenian High School. His father had a pharmacy, but he had many friends that were into the art world. His friends inspired him to follow a career in films/cinema. Before journalism, he worked in studios and took drama courses under Muhsin Ertuğrul. In 1950, he joined the Turkish newspaper Yeni Istanbul while he was studying Economics at Istanbul University.
Ara Güler was the first correspondent for Time-Life, an American journal when it launched a section in Turkey in 1958. Other foreign publications, such as Stern, Paris Match, and The Sunday Times, London, began to commission him soon after. Hayat magazine recruited him as the main photographer in 1961. In the same year, Ara was first published in the British Photography Yearbook, and he was inducted into the American Society of Magazine Photographers as the organization's first Turkish member.
Ten Masters of Color Photography, a show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1968, included his work. Moreover, his pictures were displayed at the Photokina event in Cologne, Germany. His photographic album, Türkei, was published two years later. His photographs of art and its history have appeared in publications such as Horizon, Life, Time, and Newsweek.
Since then, he has traveled and exhibited frequently. In 1980, he directed a documentary called The End of The Hero. Unfortunately, Guler was taken to the intensive care unit after intervention due to cardiac and respiratory arrest at around 10 pm on the 17th of October, 2018. Shortly after, he lost his life.
He went to the Cannes Film Festival and took photographs at the door. Suddenly he saw everyone falling to the ground, and the lamps overturned. Someone was coming, but who was it? A small, ordinary man was coming. This man was Picasso. When he heard that Picasso's book was going to be published, he went to the publishing house. He said to Picasso let me come with you and photograph your daily life. Thus, he met with Picasso. When he met with Picasso, he says ''You remind me of the French artist Cezanne, let me paint you.'' Guler was shocked. Picasso paints him and then signs the painting. Ara Güler says, "There is one original Picasso in Turkey, and that is at my house."